‘It was all a fairy tale’: Lina Heydrich’s description of the Holocaust

There have been many biographies of Reinhard Heydrich, the cold, cynical head of the SS in the Third Reich, but none quite like this one. Nancy Dougherty, an American film critic and biographer, died in 2013 before finishing a very large manuscript. The book was put into shape by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, an old friend of hers, who died in 2018. It now sees the light of day years after the research and writing was carried out, but it is a fine posthumous monument to both author and editor. What makes this biography different is not the life of Reinhard but his wife Lina. Dougherty spent three long sessions in the

It is impossible to imagine Henrician England except through the eyes of Hans Holbein

‘Holbein redeemed a whole era for us from oblivion,’ remarks the author of a trilogy of novels set at Henry VIII’s court. ‘He has forced us to believe that his vision of it was the only feasible one.’ This is a bit of a tease. It’s not written by Hilary Mantel, as you might be expecting, but by Ford Madox Ford, who, a century before Wolf Hall, published a sequence of novels about Henry’s fifth queen, Katharine Howard. Nevertheless, Ford’s point is irrefutable. It is impossible to imagine the England of Henry VIII except through the eyes of ‘the King’s Painter’, Hans Holbein. Not just the king, portrayed as massive,